ONE of York’s museums has won royal approval following a major transformation.

The Duke of York was invited to officially open the new-look York Army Museum on Tower Street yesterday.

The former Territorial Army drill hall has been transformed thanks to a £1 million Heritage Lottery Grant and is home to important UK regimental collections, including those of the Royal Dragoon Guards, the former Prince of Wales’s Own Regiment of Yorkshire and The Yorkshire Regiment.

Prince Andrew said the military museum, which tells the regiments’ story from 1685 to the modern day, was “a great new addition to the sights and sounds and experiences of York”.

The attraction is now designed to appeal to visitors of all ages, featuring a seven-metre long dining table with lift-up lids containing interactive activities, a sculpture of a cavalry horse, a Sherman tank and many military artefacts and collections.

Unveiling a plaque to officially re-open the museum, Prince Andrew told the museum team and invited guests: “The most significant thing I have noticed, for the very first time this is about what the soldier does and how the soldier has done it over a number of centuries.”

He said the museum allowed people to understand how a soldier integrates into an army, and how an army operates, fights and serves its country.

“In Yorkshire, men and women have served this country very loyally for a very long period of time,” he said.

“The army is about team work and the sum of the part is greater than the individual. This museum shows that and does it by blending and integrating the roles performed by the infantry and cavalry, both in history and where it will go in the future. I hope this museum goes from strength to strength.”

He added: “I know these regiments are very well respected and I know their current structure will continue in forms we have yet to see.

“I wish you continued success and hope the Bank Holiday weekend is a mad rush of people. to see what you have been doing. It is a great new addition to the sights and sounds and experiences that people can have in the city of York.”

Prince Andrew met a veteran of The Prince of Wales’s Own Regiment of Yorkshire, Major (Retired) Michael Dillon, now 85, whose image on operations in the mountains of Aden in 1966 is displayed in the museum.

“You don’t look a day older,” joked the Duke.

In his role as Colonel in Chief of The Yorkshire Regiment, he also presented the first Duke of York Medal, a new award for outstanding contribution to The Yorkshire Regiment, to Major David Prew, of 4th Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment during his visit.

A small crowd assembled outside on Tower Street to catch sight of the royal visitor, including Pip Lynn and Michelle Barry, from Christchurch, New Zealand, who were visiting York as part of their travels.

“We were just wandering around and saw the cars coming up the main street so we have waited about half an hour,” said Pip.